Thursday, 26 February 2009

25 Useful Shortcuts To Make Life Easier

The one thing that I really like with using Ububntu is the amount of shortcut keys that you can use. Shortcut keys can really speed up your tasks, and make like so much more easier for you. I have listed what I find the most useful shortcuts below. I have decided to leave out the ones that I think everyone will know - like the Copy & Paste etc.


Window Management

Some of the below shortcuts may require Compiz to be enabled on your Ubuntu system to work.

Switch Workspace
Switch Workspaces in Ubuntu (win + E)

1. Win +E - Shows all workspaces in a nifty way and lets you switch between workspaces easily.

2. Alt + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow - Move to Workspace on Left/Right

3. Alt+Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow - Move current window to another workspace

4. Alt + Shift + Up Arrow - This initiates a cool looking window switcher interface with which you can switch between windows using Arrow keys while holding Alt + Shift.

Ubuntu Window Shifter
Ubuntu Window Switcher (Alt + Shift+ Up Arrow)

5. Alt + F9/F10 - Minimize/ Maximize current window.

6. Alt + F5 - UnMaximizes Current Window.

7. Alt + F7 - This shortcut activates the move window option that lets you move current window using arrow keys. You can even move window to
other workspace.

8. Alt + F8 - Resize current window with arrow keys.

9. Ctrl + Alt + D - Show Desktop/ Restore open windows if show desktop used earlier

10. Alt + Shift + Tab - Switch Windows in Reverse Direction as done using Alt+Tab


11. Shift + Ctrl + N - Create New Folder, Very useful shortcut

12. Alt + Enter - Show properties of a selected file/folder without requiring to right click on it and select Properties.

13. Ctrl + 1/2 - Change folder view to icon/list.

14. Ctrl + W - Closes the current Nautilus Window

15. Ctrl + Shift + W - Closes all open Nautilus Windows

16. Ctrl + T - Open a new tab in Nautilus

17. Alt + Up/Down Arrow - Move to Parent Folder/ Selected folder

18. Alt + Left/Right Arrow - Move Back/forward in Nautilus

19. Alt + Home - Move directly to your Home Folder

20. F9 - Toggle display of Nautilus Side-pane

21. Ctrl + H - Toggle Display of hidden files and folders


22. Ctrl + Alt + L - Quick shortcut to Lock Screen if you nipping to the loo

23. Alt + F1 - Open Applications Menu

24. Alt + F2 - Open the Run Application dialog Box

25. Win + Mousewheel - Zoom in / Zoom out Desktop. This shortcut is useful if you are having a wireless keyboard/mouse.

If you know of any other useful Ubuntu shortcuts, feel free to share them with everyone in comments below.


  1. Quite useful! Especially the shortcuts for Nautilus. I always end up with too much instances on six different desktops. So Ctrl+Shift+W rocks my world!

  2. One of my favorite Ubuntu shortcuts is Win + Tab which is a more graphical version of Alt + Tab. Not sure who used this first, Vista or Ubuntu, but I am glad it is there anyway! ;)